Tuesday, September 27, 2016


If you feel that ordinary working people should have the strongest political voice, you can say you believe in populism.
In politics, the term populism can have different meanings depending on who is using it and what their political goals are. At its root, populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over their government rather than a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite. The word populism comes from the Latin word for "people,"populus.
This is a definition from vocabulary.com.  The populist movement was a big moment in American History.  This was the late 19th Century during the Gilded Age.  This was a time of corruption, and many felt oppressed financially.  To help see this - here is a video about the politics of the Gilded Age and why it was so corrupt.

One group that was furious were the farmers.  They felt unheard politically and financially!  At this time the railroads controlled everything, and the farmers found them unfair.  The biggest thing was freight prices.  It cost an arm and a leg to ship product to American Markets.  

The Populist had a long list of what they wanted to happen.  They wanted better representation politically, graduated income tax, currency, and government ownership of railroads and communication lines.  They felt like if the government controlled these industries it would be fairer.

To get any kind of progress this Populist movement had to get political!  It will become political, and a huge supporter will be Frank L Baum.  That name might sound familiar because he wrote a famous book that was a political allegory of the Populist movement!  The Wizard of OZ!

Everything in this story symbolizes and represents aspects of this movement.  Here are some of the thing represented in the Wizard of OZ:

Dorthy represents Mary Elizabeth Lease - A mover and shaker in the  Populist Movement
Yellow Brick Road represents the danger of the Gold Standard
Silver Slippers (Ruby Silvers) represent silver coinage will save us
OZ represents ounce referring to gold and silver
Scarecrow represent the Western wise but naive farmer
Tin Man represents the dehumanized industrial worker
Cowardly Lion represents William Jennings Bryan - history does not remember him fondly
Wizard represents Gilded Age presidents

There are more symbols of the Populist Movement, but those are the big ones.  Everything represents something!  William Jennings Bryan put a huge spotlight on the movement when he gave his Cross of Gold Speech.  Where he discusses the danger of the Gold Standard.

Sadly the Populist Movement did not accomplish many of their goals, but the Progressives will pick up many of their goals, and be successful!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Saints and Strangers

This is the coolest interactive game that can help bring Plymouth alive!  This is an interactive game created by National Geographic.  It has also been turned into a mini series!  In the game you are a colonist trying to survive Plymouth!  Check it out!

Monday, September 19, 2016

APUSH - Slavery

This weekend I saw a great mini documentary - TED Talk about the Atlantic Slave Trade.  It gives a great description, and describes the impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade.  It provided great insight, and I hope all of my students got something from it!  Here it is again in case you missed it!

Collegr Board wants you to know the evolution of slavery in the New World. Here is US Crash Course!  Great Review!!!

Here are two great movies that show the terror and horror of slavery!

Friday, September 16, 2016

What is the Enlightenment?

My goal as a teacher is to have my students think for themselves!  So the first week we read "What is an Enlightenment?" by Kant.  I will admit it is a hard read, but we tackled it with AP strategies, and discussed it!  The main point of his essay is tto think for yourself, and do not let others think for you!  That is why I had them read this!  I want them to think for themselves!  After we read and discussed the essay they made mini posters of what the Enlightenment means to them!  They were so good!  Here are a few of my favorite!

It was the Age of Enlightenment, and Kant and others were fighting for us!  He said he will never experience Enlightenment, but he is willing to die for others to experience the Enlightenment!  That is amazing!!!!  The  ideals of the Enlightenment inspired America!  Here is the Essay we read:

I believe this scene represents the Enlightenment.  You can know everything, but you have to experience life!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Flash Card Idea for APUSH

This is a GREAT study idea for APUSH!  One thing I hear over and over is if you want to be successful on this test you MUST know vocabulary!   All of my students told  me last year that knowing the vocabulary was so helpful!!!!  So this year I am having my APUSH students complete flashcards for each chapter.  On that card they are creating a pictograph.  Explaining the definition, significance, and drawing a picture representing that term!

One great thing is that they can keep theses and review them throughout the year.  To keep them handy they could hole punch a corner, and put them on a ring!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Power of Peppermint

Researchers have proved that peppermint can improve test scores!!!!  Did you hear that?  So incredible!  This is another tool to put in your tool belt!  They even say if you study with peppermint, and then on the test if you eat a peppermint candy it will help you remember!  

So the next time you study - use peppermint!  Here is an article showing the positive impacts!

I will provide Peppermints at  our first TEST!!!!